In this month's blog we want to talk to you about the costs of premium rate numbers and to draw your attention to how expensive they can be. There are so many different phone numbers out there (0800, 0870, 090) that knowing how much they will cost you to call can become impossible to remember. Here we are going to explain premium numbers in more detail so that you don't get caught out and land up with a huge telephone bill. 
So, what is a premium rate number? 
 
A premium rate number is usually a telephone number that is used for competitions, customer support, directory enquiries etc. Premium numbers in the United Kingdom have a two-part call charge and rates to these premium numbers can vary. Calls to directory services such as 118 118 are premium rate too. 
 
Following regulatory reform in July 2015, the cost of calling a premium rate number falls into two parts. You are firstly charged an "access charge" which is set by the callers calls and lines provide. The second part is a "service charge" that the organisation being called benefits from financially. 
 
In June 2015 The Money Saving Expert found that 118 118 call costs from a landline were a minimum of £4.50 made up of £1.88 per call plus £2.57 per minute (minimum 60 second charge). Now 118 118's product information states that "calls to 118 118 cost £4.49 per call plus £4.49 per minute." This means that a call to 118 118 will now cost you a minimum of £9!!! 
 
So how can you avoid calling premium rate numbers? 
 
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you don't fall victim to these high call charges, below are a few tips to get you started: 
 
You can find pretty much anything on the internet - including telephone numbers. There is absolutely no need to use expensive telephone directory services such as 118 118. 
Avoid calling 0870 numbers as they will usually have a cheaper, alternative number you can use. The website www.saynoto0870.com is a great tool to use. Simply put the 0870 number that you need to call into the site and it will find you the alternative number. 
Educate your colleagues - make sure your team are aware of the costs involved when phoning premium rate numbers. Ask them not to use directory services and to find alternative numbers. 
Contact your telecoms provider and ask them to block premium rate numbers. This will stop people in your organisation from calling them resulting in you receiving a large telephone bill. 
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